Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My computer is possessed

Have you ever looked at your computer and wondered what in the world it was doing, because whatever it was doing was not what you told it to do? I am coming to the conclusion that this thing really does have a mind of it's own.

In the past few weeks my computer has:

  • Changed the home page - in both of my browsers.
  • Changed the default search engine in both of my browsers.
  • Downloaded and installed some kind of PC back-up program that gave me a pop-up every few minutes to tell me that my computer was not backed up.
  • Had the mouse buttons on the touchpad stop working, which left me spending an entire day trying to figure out how to get the computer to work without it. Mind you, the touchpad itself still works, just the buttons don't.
I've fixed everything except the stupid mouse buttons. I think those might be broken permanently. I just have no idea how any of it happened. The program install I'll concede might have been added in with something I actually TRIED to download. Especially since that started right after I did download something. But I have no idea what could have caused the other issues. What in the world can make a computer change home pages and search engines, on two different browsers all by itself with no input from the user? And I'm the only one that ever uses this thing, so I can't even blame it on someone else.

What about you? Have you ever had your computer decide to do things all its own?

Check back on Friday to meet Anastasia, Eli's Sire.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Introducing: William

Full Name: William King
Age: 27
Apparent Age: 24
Height: 6'2" Weight: 165
Clan: Rebellius

William had a rough childhood. Growing up in a rather backwoods area of Tennessee, money was always tight. And it certainly didn't help anything that his father was an abusive drunk. Planning a military career, he spent every minute of free time he had studying military tactics and past wars, reading everything he could get his hands on on the subject. In keeping with his plans, he joined the Army on his eighteenth birthday and was sent to Iraq. 

 During his second tour of duty, his platoon was on what was supposed to be a simple reconnaissance mission. The mission went badly and they found themselves under fire. With a third of the soldiers wounded, a retreat was called, but William and one other soldier chose to stay behind to provide covering fire so that the wounded men could be removed to safety. Both men were mortally wounded , but their actions enabled the rest to make it to safety. They were both awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for their actions.

One of the surviving members of the platoon was Enthralled toViktor Kovac, a member of the Rebellius Clan of vampires. A Clan known for being warriors, and for being passionate about various causes - each one had their own cause, it was the passion for the cause that defined them. He secretly contacted Viktor and arranged for both of the fallen men to be turned. After hearing how they had died, Viktor turned them without hesitation, and using his vampiric abilities on the coroner and funeral director, he arranged for caskets filled with rocks to be buried.

William was only with Viktor for two and a half years before a mage friend of Viktor's told them William needed to go to Illinois, to Sangue Collina. Not wanting to argue with someone who could see the future, Viktor sent William where he was needed. He arrived shortly before Christmas 2012, with no idea why he was there, but trusting that that was where he needed to be.

About the picture: I didn't actually have Jensen Ackles in mind for William, but I needed a dark and brooding type. This picture isn't quite as perfect as the one I had before, but it's still very "William". Attribution: "Jensen Ackles by Gage Skidmore 2" by Gage Skidmore under license CC BY-SA 2.0

Friday, January 24, 2014

When your family hates your genre

So, I tweeted a comment about my novel and the characters, which also posted it to facebook. My mother, who generally doesn't read anything I write, and has probably never followed a link in facebook to my blog, decided to comment - directly to me, not as a comment on the post - with "another vampire one?" She seemed genuinely disgusted with the fact that I'm writing a book about vampires.

I would say that it hurt, but I honestly don't care what her opinion is. This is what I am currently passionate about, so this is what I'm going to write. What upsets me, is that she can't even pretend to be supportive of the first thing I have ever been truly excited about in my entire life. I mean, it's my mother. Is it really so hard to try to pretend to care, or to be proud of me? (A post for another time, really)

But, it got me thinking. I wonder, now, how many other of my friends and family would hate my books on principle because of the subject matter. I know that my one cousin became disinterested after she heard that it was paranormal romance. But, I have others that I know would be interested, and are actually on my list to ask to be beta readers when I'm ready for reader impressions, rather than editing work. So, I really don't mind having some that might not even be able to bring themselves to read it. That's just the way it is.

An even more interesting thought, though, is the question of how many insanely famous and popular authors have members of their own families that just refuse to read their books due to hating the genre. Not that I have many delusions that I'll ever be famous or popular. But, the idea that this is something that can, and probably does, even happen to the greats is rather comforting, somehow.

I fully admit that my first thought when my mom made that comment was "Really? You can't be bothered to read my blog, or like or comment on any of my facebook posts, but you can give me a hard time about my choice of genre?" So, maybe it did hurt, at first...

So, what about you? Do any of you have friends or family that just refuses to have anything to do with your genre, even if it's something that you wrote? And how do you deal with it when they do?

And that's my weekly ramble. I'll be posting William's biography tomorrow. I know I'm behind, again, still trying to get back in the swing of things and keep managing to forget what day it is.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Being an introvert is not a disease

My mother is an extrovert. She NEEDS to be around people, she tends to get depressed when she's alone too long. Considering she's an extrovert that never leaves the house, you can imagine the effect that has on her.

And yet, she's always on ME that I need to get out more. And the interesting part is that she uses the fact that I'm an introvert as her reason for why I need to get out more. I think that she thinks that getting out more would somehow "cure" me of my introversion. I find this hilarious. The fact that I don't like to be surrounded by a bunch of people, and in fact NEED time alone in order to recharge is exactly why I shouldn't be given that time alone? She also worries about one of my nephews because he's also an introvert.

In her defence, it's probably a case of she knows what being alone does to her, and doesn't quite understand that it doesn't do the same thing to me, or to Justin. That in fact, we are the polar opposite in this. There's also the possibility that introversion could be seen as a form of social anxiety. It isn't, and I'll get to that in a minute. First, I want to explain the real difference between extroverts and introverts.

So, what is the actual difference between extroverts and introverts? It's simple, really. It's a matter of how we get and expend energy. Extroverts are energized by being around other people, introverts are energized by being alone. Being alone is mentally and emotionally taxing to an extrovert. For an introvert, being around too many other people is what drains us. Honestly, to look at it from an introvert's perspective, extroverts are a type of psychic vampire, draining our energy for their own use.

End result? While extroverts need to be around other people, because being alone is tiring for them. Introverts need time alone because being around other people is tiring for us. That's it. If you think of your own energy level as a rechargeable battery, it comes down to exactly how we recharge that battery. My mother needs to talk to people to recharge her batteries. End result is that she talks almost incessantly. Silence is one of the things that drain her batteries. I, on the other hand, recharge my batteries by reading, or playing online. For Justin it's reading or playing his Nintendo DS. One of the end results of this is that my mother's constant chatter just exhausts me. A recipe for disaster, I guess.

Now, back to the social anxiety thing. While social anxiety can be a serious issue, it is not the same thing as simply being an introvert. While most people with social anxiety are introverts, the reverse is NOT true. Being around other people doesn't actually stress me out, or make me anxious, it just makes me tired. And that is really the difference between social anxiety and introversion. The actual effect that being around people has on us.

And while introverts are often seen as shy, that is also not always the case. Though the differences can be much more subtle. And harder for me to explain, since in my case, I AM shy as well as being an introvert. It's a bit harder to explain the differences between two different parts of your own personality than between one thing that does describe you compared to another thing that doesn't. And... I'm not even going to try. If any of you are introverts that are not shy, please feel free to explain the difference in the comments. Or if you're one of the admittedly probably rare shy extroverts, you can also try to explain the difference.

I just want to leave you with a plea to the extroverts of the world. We introverts do not have a disease. We do not have to be "cured". Please, try to think about how you would feel if we tried to make you more like us. Dragging an introvert out into social situations without allowing us to get time alone to recharge is the exact same thing as if we decided that YOU needed to be "cured" of being an extrovert and put you in solitary confinement to force alone time on you.

And that is my Wednesday ramble for this week. (Admittedly a day late, but oops...) Come back on Friday to meet William, who eventually becomes Catie's best friend other than Eli.

Friday, January 10, 2014

It's good to be back

So, I haven't written in a while. Months, actually. Around six of them. That would be about half a year. The reason is quite simple: I was once again without a laptop, and my desktop computer is even more out of date than it was the last time I got stuck on it for a while. But, thanks to my sister and BIL and a gift card to Amazon, I have my laptop back, and hopefully this time it will last until I can afford to replace the whole darn computer.

So, what have I been up to these past six months? I've moved into a new apartment. Three adults crammed into one two-bedroom apartment is... interesting to say the least. I also participated in NaNoWriMo, where I wrote 75,357 words. I could have written more, but... just look at that number. Isn't it pretty? Not all of that was on Eternity's Price. I also started on the prequel to it. Working on them simultaneously was kind of fun, because I'd write something in one that would give me an idea for the other one. I'll write more about what the prequel is all about in another post. And I became an aunt again - twice, in 2 minutes. My youngest sister had twins in August.

I used the computers in my apartment complex's media center to get on and do some organizational work on my blog. I've added some internal links, and things like that. And I'm currently looking (rather unsuccessfully) for something I can use to make character portraits so that I can take down the pictures that I have on my character bio posts. If anybody has any suggestions for free programs, either downloadable software or web applications, that can be used for something like that (and that isn't almost impossible to figure out), I will love you forever. Hmm... How about something of a promotion? Free copies of both Eternity's Price and Eternity's Redemption once I get them finished and in publishable condition to the person/people to offer the best solution to my dilemma.

Anyway, that's where I've been for the past six months. On Wednesday I'll restart most of my regular schedule. Trying to decide if I'm going to go back to Wewriwa or not. But, I'll be doing my Wednesday rambles, and my character bios. And I'm thinking of bringing back Positive Thinking Mondays. (And if there's enough people that want them, I'll bring back the Sunday Snippets, even if I don't do them in the format of Wewriwa.)